BEST DANCE CLUB - 2004
If there was a category for Best Bad Club Made Good, there would be no question that Tabu would take home the victor's window decal. But since there is no such category, proprietor Farzad Freshtehku will have to settle for Best Dance Club. You might not know his name, but if you know his story, you probably owe him your thanks. Freshtehku has totally transformed the crime-addled night spot formerly known as South Beach, the First Avenue haunt that kept Minneapolis police earning their salaries for most of the '90s. (Come to think of it, local cops should be writing thank-you cards, too). After several of his partners and nearly half of his staff left South Beach for the über-fabulous million-dollar dance den Escape, Freshtehku and bartender-turned-general manager Brian Zimmerman joined forces to give the club a makeover. Though Tabu is closed three nights a week (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday), its four theme nights are more than enough to compensate for the downtime. Wednesday boasts an 18-and-over hip-hop night while Sunday features the techno and minimal dance music showcase Family Bizniz (sponsored by the Nicollet Avenue record shop Vital Vinyl). But Friday's long-running electronic music party "Plush" (recently relocated from the Quest) and Saturday's urban freak-out with Brother Jules, which spills out from the club onto the sidewalk, have helped the spot earn its newly good reputation. As the dance floors fill up toward their 500-person limit, it's clear that Tabu is no longer taboo.